Tron Theatre, Glasgow Three stars When Mike Cullen's play about a debt collector's guilt-induced meltdown first appeared in 1995, the idea of people committing suicide because they were unable to pay their debts was hardly mainstream news. Fast forward eighteen years, and barely a week goes by without some kind of poverty-induced tragedy occurring. Cullen's play, revived here by Rapture Theatre, focuses on the macho men in suits who prey legally on those who fall into a spiral of debt as it navigates its way through the murky moral vacuum that goes with the job description. At the heart of this is Bob Lawson, a man once unwavering in his determination to collect, but who, as his boss Joe makes clear to rookie Billy, has been left broken after a female client kills herself. Now Lawson treats Elena and all his other woman defaulters with kid gloves lest lightning strike twice. He records his conversations with them as he sees the ghost of the dead woman in all their faces, unable to cope with what his job has done to him. This is a tough cookie of a play penned in the spirit of of David Mamet by way of Macbeth. Michael Emans' production features a hangdog Jimmy Chisholm as Lawson, who becomes terminally emasculated, both by his colleagues and by Pauline Turner's increasingly desperate Elena. If the second act threatens to teeter out of control, it also makes clear the double-edged sword of the play's title, because Cullen's play isn't about money per se. It's actually more about power, control and the psycho-sexual charge behind both in a damning indictment of how capitalism corrupts at every level.
The Herald, September 12th 2013 ends